Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Seasons Greetings and a Happy New Year

I hope that you all had a fantastic Christmas or whatever you celebrate at this time of year, and as I won't be around next Sunday, may I wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year!  Christmas Day was spent and New Year will be spent at my parents' house.  Boxing Day was spent at my sister's house (I laughed until I cried at "Mrs Brown's Boys - Christmas Special").  I'm home today, back at work tomorrow, and then off again until next Tuesday.

On the stitching front, I have two finish finishes to show you.  These are my nieces' Christmas tree ornaments for 2011.  After work on the Thursday before Christmas I went to Hobbycraft and purchased two Framecraft coasters, a sheet of blue card, some picture hooks, some double sided sticky pads and some blue ribbon.  So the aida and the card were cut to fit the coasters, the picture hooks were attached to the back of the coasters with sticky pads and the ribbon was attached.  They are not perfect, nowhere near, because I was a zombie by this stage as work was absolutely manic, but they were finish finished in time for Christmas which was the most important thing!

As Christmas was on a Sunday this year, the Beetle didn't get a look in (again!).  However when everyone who wasn't stopping over had gone away, I did get the Ark out and put in some more stitches on that.  It's coming on quite nicely and I've had to roll the aida so that I can work up to the top of the chart.  The plan is to cross stitch up to the top, backstitch back down to the middle, cross stitch to the bottom and then backstitch back up again.  And I'm planning to work hard on it while I'm off this week - fortunately the baby has still not made an appearance, though its mummy is going in for a sweep on Thursday as it looks like baby may weigh in at about 10lb!

The other stitchy things that I need to do while I'm off this week are cut the fabric and make a start on the Jayne Netley Mayhew piece for my friend, and sort out my list for the 2012 WIPocalypse.

Wishing all the best to you and yours over the coming months. 

Monday, 19 December 2011

IHSW Report - December 2011

Following my last post, this is my update report on December's International Hermit and Stitch Weekend.

My IHSW started on Friday evening with a concentrated effort on Noah's Ark which resulted in quite reasonable amounts of roof being completed; the red section having been mainly done at work.  On Saturday morning I put in the few blue stitches on the left hand side above the zebra just so that I could say that I had stitched on Saturday.  

A trip to town then ensued to do Christmas shopping (resulting in a cracking headache), followed by writing Christmas cards to take to the party at my parents which started at 5pm.  I finally fell into bed at 10.30pm, but it was a good party.

On Sunday I worked on the Beetle.  I did some infilling at the top and finally got round to doing the tedious white stripe down the side of the bonnet (which was nearly all fractionals).  After that, as I needed to stitch something a bit less fiddly, I started on the body of the car on the left side near the tyre.  I also managed to do three loads of laundry, take Dad grocery shopping, and attend a Carol Service in the local church.

Today I am off work using up some holiday leave.  I've written my Christmas cards for work, hand delivered the ones to my neighbours and done some more work on Noah's Ark.  It's cold and wet and nasty here, and I'm very glad to be tucked up at home and not out pounding the pavements.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

International Hermit and Stitch Weekend

After I'd posted last night, I went poking about amongst the trillion fascinating cross stitch blogs out there.  Several of them mentioned the International Hermit and Stitch Weekend so eventually I followed a link to Random Ramblings where Joysze kindly hosts the IHSW.

Basically the IHSW takes place on the third weekend of each month (Friday to Sunday to allow for circumstances) and you hermit yourself away and stitch.  In theory, this should not be a problem for me as I live on my own and there is always stitching to do - however the family at large does tend to demand my presence at times.

Anyway I have signed up for the last IHSW of the year this weekend.  I will probably only be stitching on Friday night and Sunday morning/evening as Christmas is looming and the dreaded shopping is not yet complete.  

So here is Hermie and if you click on him, he will take you to the IHSW signing up page and you can play too.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Late clocking in, but news and finishes to report

Yes, this should have been posted on Sunday night but never mind.  By posting it now, I have more to tell you so will get the news out of the way before I talk about the stitching.

On the job front, I didn't get the job that I interviewed for the other week, but I handed in the other application form first thing on Monday and got a call last night to say that I'd made it through to the next stage.  This is a PA job in a local comprehensive school - a bit closer to home and more money, and a complete change of scenery!  Interviews were supposed to be being held tomorrow but the school suffered a tragedy over the weekend.  They have therefore done the shortlisting but postponed the interview process.

On the Marie Curie front, we did really well.  We raised £530.35 on our stall, and the coffee morning which had taken place the day before raised around £470, so we reached our first £1,000 in two events and two days.  I am so proud of us and very grateful to the local community for their generosity.

Moving on to the stitching, I have a couple of finishes to report.  First up is the Poinsettia piece that I completed the stitching on some while ago.  I have now finally got the beads on and it doesn't look too bad.  I tried using a beading needle but couldn't get the metallic thread that I was using through the eye.  Fortunately the holes in the beads were wide enough to get my ordinary stitching needle through so I did manage to get the job done.  Now all I need to do is turn it into an ornament.

Next up is the Angel ornament for my younger niece.  As my niece is a redhead, I've changed several of the colours on this.  The hair was originally yellow, the robe two shades of red and the background was a tan colour.  As with the Poinsettia, all I need to do now is turn it into an ornament along with the accompanying Holly piece.

The Beetle missed out again due to the need to work on my application for the PA job.  I promise that I really will get down to it this week.

With the Angel being finished early in the week, Noah's Ark has become my sunrise piece.  As a result, by Sunday I had not only finished the zebra, but also completed the two windows and started on the side of the Ark itself.  I'm hoping to get that done this week and get started on the roof.  No news on the baby front so I'm not panicking too much just yet - fingers crossed.

Finally, on the Christmas front, I still have shopping to do but I have posted the cards that need posting, been out for one pre-Christmas meal, have another one tomorrow and am going to a party on Saturday.  Now if only the plumber can get my central heating fixed tomorrow, everything in the garden will be lovely! 

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Life and other plans!

In the past several posts I have been saying that I really must get on with the Beetle and I did intend to get down to some serious stitching this morning, but as the saying goes "Life is what happens when you are making other plans".

Last night I had just sat down to eat my tea when there was a hammering on my front door.  It was my little nieces who had come out with their parents to see the Christmas lights being switched on in our main shopping street.  They were dropping in on their way home because my oldest niece had a request to make - she wanted to have a sleepover with me then and there!  I couldn't say no; surely it means that I am doing something right if she wants to spend time with me, so she stayed over.  We read some books together and then it was time for bed.  She cleaned her teeth with toothpaste on her finger and I popped her into one of my t-shirts before tucking her up in my bed.  She slept like a log - I didn't.

This morning she ate enough breakfast to sink a battleship, we read some more books, she did a lovely drawing of a house and then played on my computer until Daddy came to fetch her.  I managed to get dressed and get the laundry done!  So no Beetle this week.

I have made some progress on the Angel, although this had to be shoved under the sofa last night when my visitors came.  I would hope to get it finished this week.

The elephant on the Ark is now complete, and I have moved onto the zebra.  The zebra's mane is a bit fiddly, but I would hope to get him finished this week as well.  Time has just become a bit tighter on this one.  My mum spoke to my aunt today - my cousin is huge, the baby is expected to weigh in around 9lb and the head is already engaged!  I'm sorry, baby, this will be one occasion on which an early bird will definitely have to wait for the worm so I would stay snuggly warm inside a bit longer if I were you.

On the Marie Curie front, we had our first event as a team on Saturday.  We set up a stall on one of our local shopping streets and sold cakes, Christmas cards, cookery books, chilli jam and chutney.  The first shift arrived at about 8.30am to set up, and the second shift (including me) came on about 10.30am.  I'm hoping to get an email tomorrow to say how much we made, but by the time we shut up shop at about 12.45pm, all the cakes and chutney were gone, we'd sold quite a few cookery books and Christmas cards and some of the chilli jam (good with cheese, ham etc apparently), so I think that we've done quite well.

On the job front, I have nothing to report.  Having purchased a new interview suit after much stress, I went to the interview on Tuesday morning.  I thought that it went reasonably well and they said that they would let me know either way.  I have heard nothing!  I have a form to fill in for another job which needs to be done this week - c'est la vie!